Brad Feld

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Give More Than You Get

Jul 07, 2010

Yesterday, I sent a note requesting something to a long time friend of mine who is an exec at a fast growing tech company.  I’m a tiny investor – not on the board – but we are long time friends who have done a lot for each other in the past.  My friend is extremely busy so I try to be careful with his time and limit my requests for help.

About six months ago we had a conversation in which he said something profound to me.  The quote that stuck with me was something like “every single person I’ve ever met has called me in the past three months and asked me for something.  If I add up all the requests, it’s something like 200 year of work that I now have to do that has little to nothing to do with what I’m trying to get done.”

During that conversation I decided that I never wanted to be “one of those guys” that always asked for something.  My general life philosophy has always been to “give more than I get” and hope good karma comes back my way over time.

Shortly after I sent the email request yesterday, I thought of this conversation.  I sent a separate note to make sure I wasn’t “one of those guys” (confirmed quickly by my friend) but it still caused me to think about the balance of give vs. get in my world – at least enough to write this post to (a) remind me to keep thinking about it and (b) encourage everyone out there to think about it also.

And – for all of you that live by this creed – thanks!